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Inside the Beaver's Dam

The Dam Insider is keeping an eye out for you, tracking the elected leaders of Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin and beyond. Email your thoughts or tips. Emails may be published unless otherwise requested. Requests will be honored.

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Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, United States

Monday, August 28, 2006

A speedbump no more

1st Ward Beaver Dam Alderman Warren Beske's resignation is a welcome development for those wishing to hold upward spiraling costs in check.

Beske was a dedicated representative of the organized labor segment of his ward. He was always quick to criticize any idea or action that the city's labor unions disagreed with. In his parting letter to the city, Beske makes clear his lack of understanding of the real public finance problems facing local government:

I feel that Beaver Dam will continue to lose more and more services and never see a reduction on property taxes for the services lost. Also, by losing wage and salary employees through retirement and resignation, and not replacing them, the city will not be able to maintain the quality of services that the citizens desire and pay for.

Beaver Dam, like most municipalities, is saddled with largely inefficient operations given employee compensation costs. Generally speaking, there are two fixes to this solution:

1. Hold compensation increases (including the present and future cost of benefits - The Police and Fire Commissio's recent decisions have not helped) in line with inflation.

2. Streamline operations through consolidation of departments, personnel and municipal services; fiscally responsible outsourcing; and increased employee productivity (often encouraged through "retirement attrition").

General laborers for the city will take their shots at these ideas (like Beske has through the years), but like Beske, few of them have the formal management, finance or economics training necessary to make sound "dollars and cents" decisions.

27 Comments:

Blogger azor1 said...

hypocrite

Mon Aug 28, 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Right-Future said...

"...few of them have the formal management, finance or economics training necessary to make sound 'dollars and cents' decisions."

Not unlike the mayor and the person that manages this blog!

Why must this blog vilify those that it does not agree with? The first sign of a weak argument is a personal attack. Stop the cheap shots, I’m sure Mr. Beske and others would appreciate some amount of decorum in your posts.

Mon Aug 28, 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

I think someone should start a tally of how many posts on this blog in some way call for decorum (such as in right-future's third paragraph) while simultaneously tossing out insults (such as in right-future's second paragraph).

At least azor1 isn't guilty of such hypocrisy, though he or she seems to enjoy a peculiarly de-contexutalized use of the very term.

Also, for what its worth, I don't think questioning an elected official's economic training or knowledge constitues a personal attack. It seems relevant to the task he or she is elected to do. (I'm not saying that the Dam Insider's specific observation about Mr. Beske is accurate or inaccurate, but rather that it is a fair question to pursue).

Mon Aug 28, 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger REALITY said...

The City of Beaver Dam is spending money like water, or should I say giving it away. ie, Inspection Services $700,000.00 plus interest. The high priced attorney retained by the city for arbitrations. How much, $100,000.00 plus, ask MJ, he's good with figures. Then you have the TIF district where the city gave away land to a non-profit organization, who by the way is not obligated to pay a dime in taxes. Who's looking out for the taxpayers! The cost of doing business? I don't think so. One may shine on the weekends playing monopoly with play money, but isn't adapt at handling financial matters the city encounters on a daily basis. Then the regime tells us (taxpayers) I will save you money by lowering cost of trash pickup. How much per house hold is the savings, $25.00? Whoopi, and where is that money going, the cost savings, pay off the $700,000.00 the city lost? Window dressing that's what I call it. "It's like eating your young". By the way who's looking out for the taxpayers? With this regime the moto is, IT'S MY MONEY AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT. DOOM and GLOOM that's all I hear about the financial picture from city hall. Ever since the regime took over the picture painting by number has taken place. It seems there is money available to pay high priced attorneys and give money away to other entities. Then the regime rhetoric is, it will save us in the long run. Good business principles. Okay works for me, Not.........

Mon Aug 28, 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Mr. Beske or any alderperson is always free to speak their mind, always. It isn't healthy to have everyone agree on everything all the time.

However, simply saying no or opposing something only takes the opinion halfway. The second half is the important part, the part where an alternative is proposed which could accomplish the same thing as the original idea. With the exception of drugs, the "Just Say No" approach doesn't accomplish much.

I respect Mr. Beske for standing up for what he believed in, and it would have been great to have him stick around and shape the solutions we need. Alas, that wasn't his choice.

As for training in finance or economics, it's helpful but not required. We have a budget, we have expenses, and we have levy limits. Forecasting takes a little more knowledge, but even that's not that complicated.

No need to insult anyone here; Mr. Beske made a decision and we'll move on. MJ

Mon Aug 28, 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger TACKAKC said...

Yet another sideswipe at the PFC.....imagine that. I'll point this out one more time, Mr. Aren.....er, I mean, Mr. Anonymous Blogger (wink), the PFC does not negotiate union contracts! It merely upheld the contract language as negotiated by the city and the union, thereby saving the city thousands of additional dollars in labor attorney fees in a losing arbitration cause. As one who claims to have the fiscal interests of the city at heart, you should be praising the PFC for saving the city a bunch of money! (Nevermind that they also happened to have done the right thing! Gasp!)

Okay, altogether now.....the PFC does not negotiate union contracts! If there's any way to make that any clearer, you'll have to let me know.

Tue Aug 29, 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger roza said...

"Beske was a dedicated representative of the organized labor segment of his ward."

Please tell me what the above statement means? If there is indeed an organized labor segment" in each ward, I am missing the meetings!

Tue Aug 29, 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger BDFuture said...

First of all this is mostly in response to Reality's comments. In regards to the city giving away TIF lands. For gods sake get over it...The city did not give anything away, theu sold it for approx $30,000 per acre which I agree is less than it might have sold for to some other business but none the less it was sold. And also the Y would have paid no taxes to the city no matter where they built whether there or downtown BD. Don't get me wrong, I am not a supporter of the Y but its over and done with and we will now have a beautiful new facility with(as MJ stated)something the city is no position to provide in the near future. So I guess I'm just asking for everyone to stop trying to squeeze in a jab about the TIF lands into every other subject you choose to respond about. We have bigger things to be concerned about than things that we cant change.

Wed Aug 30, 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger provethefacts said...

"Beske was a dedicated representative of the organized labor segment of his ward."

Yes, he was a dedicated representative of HIS ENTIRE WARD. Couldn't you have accepted his resignation with thanks and kept your mouth shut without spewing your personal opinions again? At least Mr. Beske is an honorable man, a hard working, blue-collar man, like the majority of the people in this city.

Being honorable comes easy to some, but not to others. Since the City is not backing the PFC's decision to honor the police officer's contract regarding the retirment benefits of Officer Dehn and Sgt. Krobert, you are going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Because this is a blatant unfair labor practice (what good is a grievance procedure then?), the City will be fined by the state.

Oh, and of course, it isn't YOUR decision, MJ. You will blame it on the City's labor attorney. Last time I checked, you are the CEO, Honorable Mayor, and this decision is ultimately yours.

Fri Sep 01, 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

I don't think it's fair to post w/out first stating your stance. So, just so you know where the DP stand:

- Beske fired the first shot, as most disgruntled individuals do.. It’s the old, "I'll show 'em, I'll quit." theory. You showed the DP plenty.
- The PFC saved us money by just saying yes? Swallow that notion and M/O all you taxpayers. "We don't negotiate anything, we just say yes?"
- We really shouldn't blame the PFC though; anyone with any more common sense than a bag of hammers would have seen that the trouble started when the phrase "collective bargaining unit" hit the radar a few years ago. Remember the news story?? Remember who brought it to the council? It was in all the papers and on the radio.
- What came first, the labor attorney or the unwillingness of the union to request a wage their employer can afford?
- City employees, start acting like the public servants you are! That includes you, rookie cop, and you, Mr. 20 years of driving the snow plow!
- MJ, start treating the employees like public servants. It takes a special breed to serve the public, whether it is in a patrol car, at an office desk, or at the bottom of a 8 foot hole in the road pumping out God knows what from a broken sewer line on Christmas Eve.
- YMCA? All I can do are the motions when they play the song; it's not anywhere I can afford, like it was designed to be. Call it what you want, put whatever price you want on it, free or cheap land, the city catered to special interests. And the justification? They provide a service? C'mon, city council, if you think the Y is the only "service provider" to this city, you don't get around much.
- Speaking of special interests, the DP cannot fathom what "commission" said yes to the Wal-Mart distribution center, the annexation, and the theft of the people's voice in their own government? It's unfathomable because it didn't happen. It was secret. Well, the DP know about secrets. Trent is laughing his berzerkin' behind off right now. No one worried about all the money the city forked over to his "corporation" to sell the people out. It's not over either, wait until Wal-Mart doesn't employ enough people to meet the "numbers" in the agreement with the city. We'll owe $600,000. Of course, Wal-Mart will claim they "created" 1000 jobs but just for the life of them, can't fill them.
- The DP have not overlooked the lunacy that was the "three blind mice" school board race. We'll be there, we're wide awake, and we will not let that alone.

- The DP asks the people to consider, if you choose to question the leadership, why then:
*MJ or the council will not address the issue of illegal immigrants in this city.
*MJ or the council will not propose an ordinance that requires all employers in the city to hire only US citizens or legal immigrants, including fines for those employers who are found to employ illegals.
*MJ or the council has not or will not address the growing gang problem in this city. (though, the DP assert that they have turned a blind eye to it, or do not recognize it)
*MJ or the council will not direct the police dept. to take full action when they encounter, or discover upon investigation, that they are dealing with an illegal immigrant.

People of the city, a lot of the issues raised in this forum pale in comparison to the trouble that this city is in as it heads to the future under its current vision. What we pay the firefighters won't matter when arson runs rampant. There will never be enough patrol officers to quash the rising force of gang activity. The school system (built on our tax money) will not withstand the burden of having to provide free education to those who are in this country illegally. The county and state cannot afford this either. How many ways do you want your tax dollars to be tossed away before there is no city left? People have been moving out of here for years, to the "fringe". Wait until no one can safely live here. Look at Milwaukee lately? It's not the same size, but, it's the same process.

The DP care for this city and the safety and security of its citizens and those who chose to visit. The DP cannot sit silent and watch the dissent over all the tax money spent over the table, when all the while, we are losing our money, and our city, under the table.

The Dream Police will work face-to-face; the table is the distance, and the problem, between those who can create the solution.

Fri Sep 01, 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

Provethefacts,

I have a hard time seeing any audacity in the Dam Insider's decision to post personal opinions on this blog. Nor do I understand the distinction between stating an opinion and "spewing" one. Further, if spewing one's personal opinion is an affront to proper decorum, I'm wondering how you justify the remainder of your post. Finally, are you implying that if one is honest and hard working they should get a pass from criticism no matter how incompetent they are? (Again, I have no opinion on whether the criticism against Mr. Beske by the DI is valid, but I do think his work ethic is irrelevant to the discussion).

I'm sad to hear that Officer Krobert is retiring. I have fond memories of his anti-shoplifting and bike safety presentations to elementary school students in the late 1980s. He was so ubiquitious to me that I surmised he must be the chief of police in B.D. (I kind of thought of him as B.D.'s answer to the G.C.P.D.'s Chief O'Hara).

Dream Police,

It's been awhile since I have lived in B.D., but I'm surprised to hear about the emergence of the Latin Kings in the area. It is my hope that a costumed vigilante rises up to meet this unique challenge to law enforcement.

Sat Sep 02, 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

Azor, you got it right. The DP are glad to see you have noticed the emergence of the Latin Kings. It's sad that the common citizen can recognize this, yet, there has been no action plan from our elected and/or paid officials to stop this. Soon, the Spanish Cobras will want a piece of the action. They rival the Latin Kings. The result, gang war, turf war, both sides will rob, steal, assault, and attempt to destroy one another, and the innocent citizens will be victimized along the way. This is what gangs do, this is how they thrive, they rob and steal for money, they traffic drugs for more money, and if you get in their way, you are beat down for your money and possessions.

Azor, the DP are sorry to say that if you are walking home one night and are assaulted, if you are shopping and subsequently mugged in the parking lot, do not look for a flying, faster than a speeding bullet, amphibious, morphing, or turtle-like character to save you...the only costumes worn around these parts are that of the uniformed patrol officers.

As for the gangs, looking at BD, they are the wolf among sheep. Our shepherds have not a clue where to lead us.

Sat Sep 02, 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

Hey, who you calling a common citizen?

Sat Sep 02, 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

The DP believe, relevant to our usage above, the "common citizen" to be:
- One who has not been elected, hired, or has volunteered to protect this great city.
- One who has not been formally trained in the recognition of disruptive groups.
- One who holds the best interest of this city as paramount outside of any electoral or employment obligations.

Apologies, Azor, our use of "common citizen" was not meant to solely include or define you.

The DP are not common at all in most respects, that is why we're here. Elections are common, aren't they?

Sun Sep 03, 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger azor1 said...

Krobert retired more than a year ago, which a well-informed citizen would know.

Tue Sep 05, 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger provethefacts said...

Azor1 said:

>>Again, I have no opinion.....

You obviously have an opinion.

Tue Sep 05, 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Azor said...

Azor1, I would hate to ever be thought of as a well-informed citizen. Common citizen perhaps, but not a well-informed citizen.

Provethefacts, You quoted something I said but attributed it to Azor1. You can tell the difference because he or she is significantly less verbose than I am. In any event, if you aware of an opinion that I apparently hold that I am unaware of myself, I would appreciate it if you could inform me of how you came to such knowledge.

Tue Sep 05, 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger JudgeJudy1 said...

Since this particular item has been posted, it has caused some very negative comments about Mr. Beske. Mr. Beske stated that he lacked an understanding of the real public financial problems facing local government. Respect this man for his honesty! None of us has all of the answers, and I truly respect someone that comes forth and admits it. Not understanding makes your job that much harder. I feel the time for these cheap shots needs to come to an end.

Does Beaver Dam have a problem? Yes. But so do all the other municipalities in the state. It starts in Madison and has the trickle down affect to all of the communities.

Are we trying to do something about it? I would hope so, and truly believe there are those that are trying, although we might not agree with the way things are being handled. But lets give credit where credit is due. The problems ahead of us are being addressed. Whether they are resolved today, tomorrow, or maybe never, at least we have those that are trying to make a difference.

We need to stick with the issues at hand and stop this bickering and dirty shots when those are not in agreement with what is being done.

We all need to concentrate on our community and how to make it better. Bad mouthing is not the answer. And at this time, I really don't know what is. But we will continue to try to be positive and work together as a community should, not one that is divided.

Thu Sep 07, 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

Hey Jude, don't make it bad...
Collect your warrants, and make it better...
Remember, don't let us under your skin, the taxpayers win...
When you make it better...

Hey Jude, don't be afraid...
You were elected to, go out collect them...
The minute, they open the big wal mart, then you'd better start...
To make it better...

Mon Oct 02, 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger roza said...

Strange how this blog slowed to a standstill once high school football season started.

Mon Oct 02, 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger azor1 said...

Actually, I was thinking how appropriate that the last entry was labeled speed bump no more.

Tue Oct 03, 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

Don't worry, gentlemen... just when things get boring, the Ghost of Secret Negotiations Past returns... Were not also tears in your eyes when you learned there was going to be a committee to try to devise a plan for special assessments? The Dream Police have a plan, it's called "one pay / all pay". Though we have to admit, it's not stuffed full of fancy mathematical equations like the current "proposal". Nor does it look pretty in print allowing us to boast about what painstaking means we went to so to conceive it. Want to talk football next? How 'bout that marching band? There's the show for sure. Can't miss with good material. Anything left to predispose?

Wed Oct 04, 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Azor said...

Not sure if anyone bothers to check this blog anymore, but I heard from the Dam Insider he was shutting it down. I think it was kind of lame of him not to say goodbye, but ah well. Turns out the DI has moved to another city in Wisconsin and is ironically now a member of WEAC. Gotta love that.

I enjoyed the discussions on this board, some for their content and some for their humor. I learned a lot from the exchanges. I have also come to a better appreciation about what drove the men of Athens to kill Socrates. Not that I am anywhere as skilled in rhetoric as he was, but to a small degree I've seen how playing the gadfly inspires anger and indignation. It's been fun!

Mon Nov 06, 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger BDFuture said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Nov 07, 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

Let's hope that the next blog will still be in English, ruffle Mr. Hacky McBiased Wish I Still Lived With Mommy Cause I Can't Get a Chick Daily Citizen Assistant Editor, and not be titled, "Inside Adolf J. Hankey's Bunker"... Let's hope there's something left after Mr. Hankey is through evicerating committees so to create literally no opposition to his appointments, some will call it "hire", such as his jack-booted buddy to one of three coveted Reich positions.

Unions, think you had it tough now? Jacko will be collecting his wage, insurance, and later, retirement while the city lay in shambles left to us by gangs, drugs, illegal immigrants, and those too weak to oppose.

Hang on, people of Beaver Dam. Get out on a nice crisp April morning and help the Dream Police arrest this changling in city hall.

Tue Nov 07, 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger BDFuture said...

Dream police - Let me prefice this with the fact that I do not entirly disagree with your opinions. But...you talk a good talk and its quite entertaining. But it seems to me you are as much a coward as Mike was with this entire blog. For the amount you have had to say you are simply a coward for not admitting your true identity and giving the elected officials in the city some direction as a taxpayer and citizen in this great city. It seems you have some good things to say, but as everyone who contributes to this blog seems to forget is that these are still part time politicians and I believe there are still a few that are willing to listen and do what they can. They probably could use your help since not everyone can think or notice the same thing. There are a few that are very supportive and work with our protective services and your comments regarding drugs, gangs and illegals would probably be addressed if directed at the right individual. Unfortunatly I feel alot of our elected officials have stopped reading this joke a long time ago and may not see what is said here. So if you think you know everything about the future of this city why not shut up and come out from behind your idiotic identity and try to help instead of being a coward and just pointing fingers and name calling.

Thu Nov 09, 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Dream Police said...

What we've just learned from bdf...

1)Bloggers are cowards...

2)Bloggers, who are consequently labled cowards, must use their real name, or, once again, they are cowards...or seemingly, cowardly cowards...

3)"these are only still part time politicians"... as if full time politicians would be ideal? The D/P would prefer no politicians...all they do is hold secret meetings, stroke the Y, and buy their flooring at Home Depot

4)"Shut up...reveal...try to help..."
Aah, yes.. would you like fries with your "yes-men"?

5) "name calling"? "finger pointing"? see #1, #2 above

Fri Nov 10, 08:47:00 PM  

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